Every professional cyclist knows that a lot of training is needed in order for curtain performance goals can be achieved. Putting in hours of work on the road and out of it, requires a lot of time and sometimes, it still may not be enough. You know why? Because, in addition to improving your cycling performance, individual leg exercises are essential. It doesn’t really matters if you’re thriving to increase your speed or endurance. Focusing on training and working specifically on your legs is the key to perform better and faster. Here is what you should expect when starting focusing on your legs:
a) Curtain leg exercises can drastically reduce muscle imbalances
Most exercises (weight and balance) work both, on your slow twitch muscle fibers and fast fibers. They both are responsible for your cycling leg moves when in a steady pace or when sprinting.
b) Your balance, speed and endurance will increase
c) Your energy will be more wisely used by your muscles and divided in such a way that your power will not only increase, but you will feel less tired despite the for how long you’re cycling.
d) The thing is, unfortunately, we cannot do these exercises for you. But we can for sure bring them all in just one place for you to learn and start practicing as soon as you can for at least three times a week:
Squat is considered by many experts to be one of the best training exercises for cyclists. It deeply touches all; small and big lower body muscles and activates gluteus maximus and hamstrings. These are the muscles which cyclists don’t use a lot as they mostly use quadriceps muscles during the pedal stroke. But, you should know that strengthening and working on these muscles, you can divide all the job quadriceps muscles do and let them rest more while using the other ones. So, your endurance will immediately increase because you now will use an additional package to work as a backup for the main muscles when padding.
That’s why, doing squats help you so much. Many of the moves you do when cycling, are very similar to the squat moves. They both work on the same muscles and body parts. For full effect, it is recommended that a person should do at least 5 sets of 10 exercises for at least 4 different kinds of squats. So, 5x10x4 squat exercises, three times a week.
When jumping, you are performing an amazing way to increase speed and power. After doing this type of exercise with your own body weight, you should normally expect your sprint speed and endurance to increase. There are many kinds of jumping you can do. Box jumps, single leg jumps and normal jumps, they are all amazing when wanting to make your cycling experience easier and better. Try to include them when doing squats. Experts recommend that after every set of squats you do, including a set of jumps will do the work more efficiently. If you think jumping only with your body weight seems easy to do, you can add some weights. if decide to do this type of exercise alone, you should allow your muscles to rest and recover for at least one minute after each set of 1-2 minutes jumps. Focus on keeping the resistance and balance when performing these type of jumping exercises in order to better apply these abilities when cycling.
Single leg deadlifts
The main muscles this exercise targets are hips and hamstrings. This is a perfect exercise for many reasons. When you force each leg to handle all the weight, your muscle imbalances get destroyed. Letting your leg work independently and support the weight, moves and balance, your ability to perform these benefits when on a bike will get more obvious and less energy will be spent. Try to start doing single leg deadlifts without additional weights expect your own body. Then, after a week, you can start adding some light weights until you feel your legs can handle heavier ones. Don’t risk your muscles, let them adapt to the weights. Ask your trainer to suggest you the right amount of sets and weights you need to do.